Call for Proposals: Concurrent Sessions

2014 Community Health Conference
September 17-19, 2014
Cragun's Conference Center, Brainerd

About the Conference | Call for Proposals | Submit Proposal | Questions

The 2014 Community Health Conference will be held September 17, 18, and 19, 2014, at Cragun's Conference Center in Brainerd, MN. Concurrent session presenters must be available on Thursday, September 18 and Friday, September 19. MDH will develop the conference schedule after presenters are determined.

Concurrent session proposals are no longer being accepted. All applicants have been notified of the status of their proposal via email, as of June 23, 2014.

About the 2014 Community Health Conference

2014 Community Health Conference
September 17-19, 2014
Cragun's Conference Center, Brainerd

ImgTheme: Public Health on the Horizon

MDH and SCHSAC invite you to broaden your public health horizon and reenergize your work at the 2014 Community Health Conference. Join local elected officials, tribal and community public health leaders, representatives from the Minnesota Department of Health, and partners from health plans, health care and other sectors in exploring policies and practices on the horizon of state, local, and national public health.

Depending on your vantage point, some public health issues seem to approach at breakneck speed, like public health investment and value, mental health as a public health issue, workforce development and transition, health equity, and health in all policies. Other public health issues are slowly emerging on the horizon, and we can anticipate their arrival further in advance. We continually expand our knowledge and gain new perspectives on concepts like accreditation, performance management, evidence-based or trauma-based practice, and culturally informed practices.

While adjusting for new and emerging issues, we won't lose sight of the important work we do every day to protect, maintain, and improve the health of all Minnesotans as it relates to public health infrastructure, healthy communities and healthy behaviors, infectious diseases, environmental health and environmental resource protection, emergency preparedness, response and recovery, injury and violence, and the quality and accessibility of health services. We continue to gather inspiration and knowledge to meet the public health challenges of the future.

Learning Objectives

Conference speakers, concurrent session presentations, and activities will connect public health programs, policies, and practices with these overarching learning objectives.

Community Health Conference participants will:

  • Link emerging national and state public health issues to public health at the community level
  • Discover creative ways colleagues are approaching public health practice
  • Increase skills to engage diverse communities in meaningful public health partnerships
  • Improve knowledge of ways to create health and advance health equity for all people in Minnesota

The conference will provide opportunities to:

  • Learn from national, state, and local experts
  • Interact with local elected officials, the Minnesota Department of Health executive team, and tribal and community public health leaders to strengthen the state-local partnership and relationships with community partners
  • Acquire useful tools, models, and strategies from public health colleagues
  • Celebrate public health accomplishments
  • Gather inspiration to meet the challenges of the future

Conference Attendees

Community Health Conference attendees include:

  • Local elected officials
  • Local public health administrators, directors, and staff
  • Community-based organization leadership and staff
  • Community health board and advisory committee members
  • State Community Health Services Advisory Committee (SCHSAC) members and alternates
  • Eliminating Health Disparities Initiative (EHDI) grantees
  • Tribal health leadership and staff
  • Minnesota Department of Health leadership and staff
  • Other public health professionals, and those from other sectors interested in public health

Call for Proposals

PDF Download Call for Proposals: Concurrent Sessions
(250KB / 3 pages)


Sessions formats may include individual presentations, panel discussions, skill-building activities, demonstrations, games, theatrical performances, multi-media shows, and more! Please contact the conference coordinators for information on AV and internet capabilities.


  • All sessions run 1 hour and 10 minutes in length, including Q&A
  • Each session will be limited to three presenters
  • All selected applicants are expected to work with conference staff to incorporate feedback from the conference planning workgroup into their presentation

Selection Criteria

Selection of concurrent session proposals is based on the session's ability to:

  • Support the overall conference theme and address at least one of the conference learning objectives
  • Run within the time allotted (60-minute presentation, 10-minute Q&A)
  • Include a perspective related to local public health or community-based health (presentations that include multiple perspectives are encouraged)
  • Provide ready-to-use or adaptable tools, resources, or other materials
  • Suggest an engaging, dynamic, or interactive format for conference participants
  • State two to three learning objectives that participants will achieve
  • Include a brief description that will be used for the conference program
  • Indicate the primary audience that will benefit the most from the session
  • Be submitted by Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.


The SCHSAC Conference Planning Workgroup typically receives well over 50 applications, and is able to select less than half of them. Through a rigorous review process, the workgroup strives to select the best of the best, while creating a balanced schedule for conference attendees.

  • Make your session stand out by providing an engaging title and description that makes readers want to participate
  • Keep in mind the things that participants consistently say they value about this annual event: networking, learning about and preparing for emerging trends, and hearing public health success stories—especially those they can replicate in their communities
  • Tailor your session to a primary audience (elected officials, those working with diverse communities, etc.), and what that audience will learn and use from your presentation (Will it feature tools? Is it introductory, or more advanced? Etc.)
  • Remember that you will reach only a portion of your target audience, because attendees have many concurrent sessions from which they can choose

Additional Considerations

The conference planning workgroup will attempt to create an overall conference program that is balanced according to:

  • Content
  • Geography: Presenters will be selected from all regions of the state, to the extent possible
  • Organization: At least half of all sessions selected will come from local public health or community-based organizations; sessions demonstrating the state-local partnership are also desired
  • Format: A variety of formats are encouraged, but preference will be given to interactive sessions that suggest an audience participation component
  • Audience: Sessions will be selected that are appropriate for each of the conference's target audiences

The Conference Planning Workgroup reserves the right to recruit additional concurrent sessions to provide conference participants with the best learning opportunities available.

Submit Proposal

Registration is now closed.

You cannot save your application. Please have the following information ready prior to starting the process:

  • Descriptive title
  • Session format
  • Intended primary audience
  • 2-3 learning objectives that participants of your session will achieve
  • Description of the session which will be used in the conference program
  • Any context or background information that will help the selection committee make an informed decision
  • Contact information for the applicant and up to three presenters

You will receive a confirmation of submission within your internet browser.

Concurrent session proposals will be accepted through Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. Applicants will be notified via email during the week of June 23, 2014.

Conference Fees for Selected Presenters

  • Conference registration fees will be waived for concurrent session presenters (maximum: three presenters per session); please indicate that you are a presenter when you register online
  • Presenters are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and meal expenses, and can use the MDH conference website if they wish to purchase lodging or meals; reservations open July 1, 2014

Questions and Other Information

We encourage you to contact us with questions about the application process, application requirements, potential proposals, or the community health conference.